Yei Zhuang
Native toChina
RegionWenshan Prefecture, Yunnan; western Guangxi
Native speakers
1 million (2007)[2]
  • Po-ai
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
zgn – Guibian Zhuang
zqe – Qiubei Zhuang
Glottologguib1244  Guibian
qiub1238  Qiubei

Yei Zhuang is a Northern Tai language complex spoken in Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan, China. Its speakers are also known as the Sha (沙族).


In Yunnan, Yei Zhuang dialects are spoken in Funing and Guangnan counties (also in Guangxi to the east and north), as well as Qiubei (probably also in Qujing Municipality to the north). The largest concentrations of Yei Zhuang speakers are found in Qiubei (80% of total Zhuang population) and Funing (50% of total Zhuang population) counties (Johnson 2011a:43).

Po-ai, a Tai language of Funing County described by Fang-kuei Li in the mid-1900s, was determined by Johnson (2011b) to be a Yei Zhuang dialect.


Below are various names (both autonyms and exonyms) for speakers of Yei Zhuang (Johnson 2011a:43).

Many of these are names of Bouyei as well.


There are no palatalized consonants in Qiubei Zhuang. /pj/ in standard Zhuang is /p/, as in /pja1/ "fish", pjak7 "vegetable" is /pa/1, /pak/7.[3] /mj/ is m or n,for example mjaːk3 "slippery", mjaːi2 "saliva" as /ma6/, /naːi2/. /kj/ is merged into k or t,for example kjaːŋ1 "middle", kja4(orphan) is /kaːŋ3/, /tsa4/. The consonant k before i, e is changed to ts, for instance ki3 "several", kiːŋ2 (triangular cooker),[clarification needed] ke5 "old" as /tʃi1/, /tʃiːŋ2/, /tʃes/.


  1. ^ The Chinese name. An approximation, as Yei and Yai are not possible in Mandarin.
  2. ^ Guibian Zhuang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Qiubei Zhuang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ See Proto-Tai_language#Tones for an explanation of the tone codes.